Jump to content

Curiosity Killed the Cat and Got 50 Hospital Employees Fired

Nurses Article   (12,172 Views 61 Comments 632 Words)
by Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD (Advice Column) Writer Expert Verified

Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD has 30 years experience and works as a Nurse Attorney.

9 Followers; 6 Articles; 4,659 Visitors; 84 Posts

advertisement

At Chicago’s Northwestern Hospital, Jussie Smollett, an actor from the TV series “Empire,” was admitted after he was physically attacked. According to reports, he suffered bruises and facial lacerations. You are reading page 2 of Curiosity Killed the Cat and Got 50 Hospital Employees Fired. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

500 Visitors; 41 Posts

They could easily replace the 50 nurses with agency staff and then worry about the lack of permanence. There is a nursing shortage especially in critical care, ED, Nursing education and elsewhere. Oh sure there are nurses out there but the recent (last 5 years) influx of new nurses, has created an experience void that is difficult to overcome. "The optics of not replacing them" is the point of the firing not to mention the maintaining of integrity within a system. I accessed my girlfriends brothers' chart about 20 years ago and while I was not fired, I was placed on probation. The fella who said that he could not believe that anyone would not realize that each keystroke is monitored nowadays, hit the nail on the head. From "political correctness" to "freedom of speech and religion" our every action and interaction are monitored. Big Brother has truly arrived.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

195 Visitors; 14 Posts

Wow.  Working in a large psych facility I would come  in at night and one of my responsibilities was the census at midnight. Patients who hand been on my unit for weeks could suddenly be gone and you had no idea of where they were.  Did they discharge, were they transferred to another unit, were they sent back to jail, or maybe to a group home setting. The easiest way to find out was go into the computer and start looking for them. The system was clunky and not intuitive at all so in the process of searching for patient A who had suddenly disappeared you probably would scroll past Patients B thru Z and a lot more before you found who you were actually looking for to determine where they went. Why didn’t the day shift record this information in the first place or at least mention it during report?  Sometimes they did but when you have sixty to eighty patients on a unit sometimes things slip by, especially when you are using very outdated software.  Sometimes you had to resort to old fashioned detective work to get the info you needed to account for all the patient movements that could occur in a very short time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

adreamdeferred has 4 years experience as a ADN, MSN, RN, APRN, NP and works as a Nurse Practitioner.

3,631 Visitors; 78 Posts

2 hours ago, Ruby Vee said:

It may hurt them to replace 50 employees, but I'm guessing the optics of not replacing them would have hurt more.

 

I agree with you. Hipaa violations can be costly monetarily and they need to regain the trust of the public. And for the record I want anyone who looks up my medical records without just cause fired. It's that serious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 Followers; 5,711 Visitors; 964 Posts

This is certainly not the first celebrity hospitalization, yet it is the first mass firing I've heard of.

My sister was an early informatics nurse, and she said even 20+ years ago, she could easily pull up every employee who had looked at a chart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1,712 Visitors; 35 Posts

I don't have the time to look at anything at my work that does not directly involve me.  I know that things happen to people, regardless of being famous or not, so who cares?  The media blows them up to bigger than life, but they are just people.

Firing 50 people is a lot, it will affect a lot of lives, maybe even crash some lives, a lot of employees these days are barely making ends meet. But the celebrity in question may make money on this?  Hmmm...

Possibly mgmt. wanted to send a strong message, but later will rehire? Was this a PR move?

Does the punishment fit the crime?  Where I work, we have a to complete a confidential information management refresher each year.  This is to remind people about the responsibility of handling confidential information.  

I don't watch TV, and rarely go to movies, just b/c a lot of it crap.  So, therefore I don't follow actors/celebrities, or really know who they are.  As far as I am concerned, it is a financial scheme and a whole lot of fake rather than what I call real arts. But, that is just my opinion.

But, we all need to be mindful about confidential/personal information, if somebody who is sick, down and out cant count on the professionals to keep noses out of "none of their business", well, then, what can we count on? And yes, they can plug into the computer at any time to see what we are up to.  This paid time and the deal is to do the work, in exchange for pay. 

Maybe a temporary suspension, a fine, would send a strong message enough.

Many times I rather not know than to know, KISS, I pick and choose very carefully where I want to spend time for info, we are already over flowed with info from computers/TV/radio/papers/magazines/social media/books etc.  
Celebrities are not my 1st choice for finding valuable/useful/interesting/stimulating  information. 

CYA......the number one rule in nursing school till the day you retire from nursing career.   Be smart.

Just my 2 bits.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

iluvivt has 32 years experience and works as a Infusion specialtist.

24,141 Visitors; 2,709 Posts

I am too concerned about my goals and keeping my life on track that I could care less about any patient, celebrity or not, that I am not directly taking care of. I have a position that I am asked for consults all the time or in other words my opinions on the best evidenced practice and/or policy so I need to go into charts that I may not ever touch the patient.I protect myself by documenting why I am in the chart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

audreysmagic has 15 years experience as a RN.

1 Follower; 7,783 Visitors; 458 Posts

This has been all over the news in Chicago...realistically, Northwestern can probably absorb losing the 50 employees (they weren't solely nurses) pretty quickly - it's a huge facility.  I work at a nearby hospital now and we got a global email with the news link too from our privacy team, reminding everyone that curiosity doesn't cut it when it comes to peeking.  Getting a quick familiarity with name and diagnosis of your co-worker's patients when you cover their lunch?  Totally fine, and a good idea.  You would be involved in their care.  "I heard so-and-so might be on the telemetry unit?"  Nope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

audreysmagic has 15 years experience as a RN.

1 Follower; 7,783 Visitors; 458 Posts

9 hours ago, Destiny08 said:

Wow! Many voiced they didn't go past the name screen. I work with a nurse now, and she is always looking up my patients information. I told her that's a HIPPA violation. Her reply is, "Well I'm charged tonight." Gonna see where that charge phrase gets her when they catches her. All hospitals do random audits. Like the reading said above, "there are audit trails."

There can be a lot of information on the name screen, too, at least in EPIC.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8 Followers; 21,852 Visitors; 2,837 Posts

1 hour ago, audreysmagic said:

Getting a quick familiarity with name and diagnosis of your co-worker's patients when you cover their lunch?  Totally fine, and a good idea.

...and brief/basic report and whatever other information you end up needing in order to care for the patients. 🙂

[Not to nitpick. But someone will come along and think they need to be worried about being in a chart too much if they are "only" covering.]

Edited by JKL33

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2,832 Visitors; 54 Posts

I remember quite a few people in the same predicament at my hospital when Kim K gave birth the first time ! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Leader25 has 35 years experience.

2 Followers; 4,316 Visitors; 701 Posts

The hospital has sent warnings about violations,there has been media reports of firings in other hospitals for same type violations what part of violation do nurses not understand?I often reminded my unit not to do searches ,not even their own labs as I knew of disciplinary actions on other units.This did not stop many who wanted to see census,who is there, or see friends lab work."None are so blind as those that will not see."

No sympathy here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RobbiRN is a RN and works as a ER RN.

16 Articles; 9,967 Visitors; 170 Posts

What am I missing? Every staff member in our ER can see the name of every patient in our department, their presenting complaints, orders pending and completed, along with a lot of other information, whenever we access our main dashboard screen.  The list balloons up to fifty patients at a time, and we work as a team. If I'm caught up on my patients, the first thing I do is scroll the dashboard looking for who may need help. I may click on several patients to determine who is most at risk and highest priority even though I may not care for several of them whose records I access. Any patient in the department is a potential recipient of care from any staff member at any given time. It is ridiculous to imagine we are to myopically focus on our own patients and sacrifice our ability to quickly reallocate our resources to where they are most needed. If teamwork within a department is a HIPAA violation, we've thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×